Irish Cultural Artifacts

Ireland is a country rich in heritage and culture, and is well known for its Celtic history, music, and time-honored clothing. From aran sweaters to claddagh rings, many of the patterns and designs used in traditional Irish clothing and jewelry have hidden symbolism and can be traced to intriguing Irish stories and legends.

In this info-graphic you will learn about the origins of some of the most well-known Irish clothing artifacts, how they were made in the past, and how these traditional crafts continue to this very day. The origins of Irish claddagh rings and tin whistles are also explored.

Here’s a wonderful informational graphic from Murphy of Ireland, illustrating the origins of these Irish cultural treasures……

Image Credit

Slán agus beannacht leat

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom


Disclaimer:  Irish American Mom does not have any business relationship with Murphy of Ireland. I really liked this info-graphic and the information it portrays, so I decided to share it with readers. I do not have an affiliate contract with this company. I hope you enjoy this image as much as I do, and thanks to Murphy of Ireland for creating it and promoting Irish crafts and small businesses.

Five Irish Craft Makers To Watch Plus A $100 Shopping Spree Giveaway From USofIreland

In Ireland something of a mini revolution is taking place. The creative and design industry is beginning to find a growing audience of buyers looking for something different outside of the obvious.

Being Irish means something, especially to anyone who has a cultural connection to Ireland. It’s a sense of ancestry and home, even if you have never visited the country – you can still feel it.


So it’s understandable that this is reflected in the types of Irish products that sell the most. However, there is also a different Ireland.  The influence our creativity has had on popular culture cannot be diminished.

  • Think of writers like Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Brendan Behan & Frank McCourt;
  • Musicians like Luke Kelly, Van Morrison, Christy Moore & Phil Lynott;
  • Actors like Maureen O’Hara, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Day-Lewis & Richard Harris.

All of these people, and so many more were, and are, blessed with creativity.

From the ancient etchings of the Ogham language to intricate modern carvings of wood furniture – creativity is unmistakably an Irish trait. It’s in our blood.



Introducing USofIreland:


USofIreland is a website that brings together independent makers across the island of Ireland under one roof, and offers these makers and artists a platform to showcase and sell their products to a wider audience outside of Ireland.

Their aim as makers living and working in Ireland today, is to show our cousins around the world that we more than hold our own in the creativity stakes. Don’t rule us out!

We have picked out 5 makers on our website we believe are very much ‘Ones To Watch’.

Whilst it does feel slightly like choosing a favorite child, every maker on the website has their own story to tell. Here are just 5 we picked:


John Nolan


Preoccupied with color, John Nolan is an artist based in Dublin. His exuberant style combines bold outlines with bright exotic shades. His interpretation of various motifs transmits a positive upbeat feeling to his viewers. His motifs include Fish, Flowers, People, Birds, Still Life, Abstract, Collage & Landscapes.

By John Nolan

By John Nolan

Tracy Gilbert


Tracy is immensely proud of being Irish and is fluent in her native Irish language. Her aim is to intertwine this pride with imagination to create beautiful jewelry designs that reflect Ireland artistic and mythological heritage. Clever design, quality materials and craftsmanship are the cornerstones of Tracy’s creations.

By Tracy Gilbert

By Tracy Gilbert

Siobhain Steele


Siobhain designs and makes a range of ceramic vases, bottles and giftware, which are carefully hand decorated to evoke a sense of simplicity and serenity. Inspired by the abstract line and patterns found in the lush natural landscape surrounding her studio in Rathcormac, Co Cork.


By Siobhain Steele

Conor Lynch


Teenager Conor Lynch is a woodturner based in rural Co Offaly. He started woodturning at the age of eleven after seeing a demonstration. After turning twelve, he bought a lathe with his confirmation money. Largely self-taught, he is now considered one of Irelands emerging makers working in turned wood.

By Conor Lynch

By Conor Lynch

Scribble & Stone


Scribble & Stone is a contemporary and unique Irish fashion label based in Dublin. The “Scribble” in the title refers to their love of illustration and to the quirky graphics and scribbles across tags and packaging. The “stone” refers to gemstones which are an important component in many of their pieces. This combination creates truly unique fusion jewelry pieces.

By Scribble Stone

By Scribble Stone


The Giveaway:


James Galvin, the Chairman and Co-Founder of USofIreland, has generously donated a $100 shopping spree on their wonderful website, for one of Irish American Mom’s readers.  And so, in essence you can pick your own prize. The winner will be free to spend $100 on the item or items of their choosing from the vast array of unique and beautiful works of art available from USofIreland.

To enter our giveaway just click here. The terms and conditions are outline on the entry form

The competition is open until midnight October 31st, 2014. 

A winner will be chosen randomly and notified by e-mail.

Best of luck to all our entrants and a big thank you to USofIreland for sponsoring this fantastic prize for Irish American Mom’s readers.


The Winner:

November 2nd, 2014 – I’m delighted to announce we have a winner. Susan from Virginia is the lucky recipient of a $100 gift voucher to spend on beautiful Irish crafts. Susan, I hope you get some lovely gifts for Christmas for your friends and family, or why not spoil yourself and buy something special just for you.

And thanks to everyone for supporting this little giveaway. And of course, a big thank you to USofIreland for sponsoring this wonderful prize.


Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)


Irish American Mom


Disclosure of Material Connection: Irish American Mom does not have any business relationship with USofIreland and did not receive cash payment for publishing this guest post.  The purpose of this giveaway is to help spread the word about Irish artists. Thank you to all who support Irish and Irish American crafts people and their wonderful enterprises.

How To Make A St. Brigid’s Cross Using Pipe Cleaners

On St. Brigid’s Day in Ireland it is customary to make reed crosses named after the saint. But, if like me, you live in the city, it is not easy to find an abundant supply of reeds.  In America, reeds and rushes don’t grow as prolifically as in the wet soil of my homeland.

St. Brigid's Crosses Made With Reeds

Image Credit

Determined to mark this day by making some crosses with my kids, I decided pipe cleaners would be the best solution. ‘Chenille stem’ seems to be the new name for this trusted craft supply. Add a little glitter and a good old pipe cleaner is transformed into a chenille stem.

Pipe Cleaner For A St. Brigid's Cross

To make your cross you will need 18 or 22 stems, depending on how big you’d like to make the center square of your cross.

Steps To Make A St. Brigid's Cross

Lay one stem straight and bend all others, except one, in half. Cut the last one in four equal pieces for binding the ends of each arm of the cross.

Step 1: Loop one bent stem around the center of the vertical stem, pointing the ends to the right.

Step 2: Loop the next bent stem around the first arm, pointing upwards.

Step 3:  The next bent stem is looped around the upward arm, pointing to the left.

Step 4:  The final arm is created by pointing a bent stem downwards around the left arm.

Repeat these four steps 3 or 4 times to expand your cross, starting each round on the right and underneath the arm.

Securing the last stem of a St. Brigid's Cross

The final stem must be secured.  Pull the last loop of the right arm back a little, and slot the last stem downwards and through this hole. Re-tighten each loop.

Securing the ends of a St Brigid's Cross with pipe cleaners

Secure the end of each arm using a small piece of pipe cleaner.

Chenille Stem St. Brigid's Cross

And there you have it, a St. Brigid’s Cross made with pipe cleaners, even if it’s a little more glittery than the saint’s original.

Glittery St. Brigid's Crosses

We got a little carried away this morning, making big ones and small ones, multicolored and glittery crosses. But let’s face it. St. Brigid loved a good party, so I think she would approve of a little sparkle.

Happy St. Brigid’s Day to all.

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)


Irish American Mom

P.S. Thanks to Maureen at “Make Time For Nature” for her lovely photo of St. Brigid’s crosses made with reeds.

Winner Of The Custom-Made Alphabet Art By Letters From Ireland

A big thank you to everyone who participated in this week’s giveaway for a custom made piece of alphabet photo art by Letters From Ireland.  It was lovely to hear the inspirational words readers would use to create their own unique piece of artwork.


A big thank you to Letters From LLC for graciously sponsoring the prize for our lucky winner…..


who said:

“Lovely idea. I would ask the artist to produce a piece that reads “Dungarvan” my husband’s hometown ~ it would be the perfect gift for him.”


Congratulations, Margaret.  I will send you an  e-mail  to arrange to send your prize.

A big thanks to everyone who commented and supported this giveaway.  I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend.


Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)


Irish American Mom


Holiday Giveaway From MyIrelandBox

This Thanksgiving weekend MyIrelandBox, a subscription service providing monthly Irish craft surprises from Ireland, has graciously sponsored another giveaway for Irish American Mom readers.


Based in a pretty little town on the western coast of the Emerald Isle, MyIrelandBox curates the best of Irish made crafts, delivering monthly surprises directly to your door.


Our previous MyIrelandBox giveaway for St. Patrick’s Day was a huge success with many wonderful responses. Readers told us about their favorite Irish crafts and why they love Ireland.  You can read that post and learn more about this innovative service here.


As the Christmas season gets underway, MyIrelandBox is providing one November craft box and one December craft box to two lucky winners of our giveaway.


The wonderful world of Irish made crafts and the talented artists who devote their lives to the creative process are introduced to subscribers each month.  The MyIrelandBox team scour Ireland and thoughtfully curate the best of Irish crafts.


Dingle – Home of the MyIrelandBox Team

Here at Irish American Mom I love to support Irish and American artists, writers, and small businesses by helping spread the word about their incredible work.

MyIrelandBox shares that vision by introducing subscribers to new and unusual Irish crafts, they might otherwise not be able to buy.  Each box includes background information and personal stories about the Irish artists whose products are chosen for each monthly surprise.


This holiday season MyIrelandBox is offering a three month subscription for anyone hoping to surprise someone special for Christmas.  Orders can be placed right up until Christmas Eve, with the first gift boxes arriving in early January.



The Giveaway:


One lucky winner will receive the November craft box and another will be surprised by the Christmas-themed December box.

To enter just leave a comment on this blog post by noon on Saturday, December 7th, 2013.  Any comment will do but if you need inspiration why not tell us what Christmas crafts, trinkets or treasures you cherish most.

A winning comment will be chosen randomly.  Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win.  Your e-mail won’t be published or shared, just used to contact our two lucky contestants.

Winners will be announced on Saturday December 7th, so MyIrelandBox can get the winners’ prizes on their way for Christmas.


Best wishes to all our contestants.

Féile Na hAltaithe Shona Daoibh,

(Happy Thanksgiving)

Irish American Mom


P.S.  Irish American Mom receives no remuneration from My Ireland Box, who graciously provide these prizes free of charge.  I feature this wonderful gift idea as a way to promote and support Irish businesses and crafts people.